My younger daughter is doing her A-levels this summer. Not only will she finally be leaving school (she wasn’t a fan), but she also has a place at university far from home. It will stay in the same province, but a total of seven hours by car and ferry. Her sister, on the other hand, only moved an hour away by car.
I could see them every few weeks. This will be a great transition for all of us, and as I pray for myself and my family, I want to pray for you and yours as well.
For the anxious child or parent
God knew from the beginning that many parents and some of our children would be afraid – excited maybe, but also fearful. After all, the command “Don’t be afraid” is found at least 70 times in a quick font search. That doesn’t include the hundreds of times this topic has come up without this statement.
1. “I am the God of your father Abraham. Fear not, for I am with you ”(Genesis 26:24). You are entering what is perhaps the most mysterious time of your life and you are asked to plan much of your life like someone with far greater wisdom and experience.
No wonder some of you students are scared. But as the Scriptures remind us in their accounts that God’s people are being sent into similarly mysterious situations and gradually becoming trusted, He wants you to do the same.
Trust him, and despite these inevitable mistakes, if you always have him in front of you, your path will lead to Christ.
Lord, help these young people to find peace in you, even in uncertainty.
2. “It is enough that the disciple be like his teacher and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they slander those of his house ”(Matthew 10:25). Jesus did not gloss over the reality of suffering for our faith.
If my daughters are truly disciples of Jesus, I must remember that if they suffer for Christ, they live for him too. I can rest in there. The worst thing would be to hear them lead safe and peaceful lives for their own fame or self-preservation.
I don’t want my children to be hurt because of their beliefs, but I can trust God with my babies. It’s good and parents don’t have to be afraid.
God in heaven have mercy on mothers and fathers who say goodbye to their children. Give them the strength to face these changes knowing that you are by their side.
For the child who longs for independence
1. “Brothers, do not be children in your mind. Be children in evil, but mature in your thinking ”(1 Corinthians 14:20).
2. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is perfected in weakness.’” – 2 Corinthians 12: 9. In any case, grow into the image of Christ calling you his brothers and sisters. Be like him.
But don’t forget to do everything in Christ’s name and by his power. Once you start walking on your own, you will begin to see how weak you are. This is not an excuse to sit around and wait for life to happen, but a motivation to live by faith. He will always be “the lifter of your head” (Psalm 3: 3).
I heard a preacher say this was a reference to the age-old tradition of a victorious warrior stamping a defeated soldier on the head. But remember Judges 7 where God told Gideon to reduce his army. He wanted Gideon to know where his strength came from when the enemy was defeated (which it was).
The test he used was strange and no explanation was given, but David Guzik wrote, “Maybe it was because those who put the water in their hands and put it to their mouths were better soldiers because they did their surroundings even then kept an eye on having a drink. “
We must hold our heads up to look for the enemy (sin), not to run ahead and fight, but to see the temptation to come and walk behind the shield of Christ.
Lord, teach our children to do everything for your glory and not for their own. Help them not to become stoically independent and try to earn themselves in your favor, but to know that they are already loved in Christ alone.
For the parents who won’t let go
Are we confident that we have taught our children enough skills to deal with life? Christ sent the disciples on a test run and they returned to share their failures and successes.
He went on to teach them, and the disciples had learned all that the Father Jesus said to share with them (John 17: 8), but Jesus eventually had to go. Yet he told them, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you ”, by which Jesus meant that he would leave her with the Holy Spirit.
We taught our daughters how to navigate real life, and I introduced them to real life that is only found in the gospel. They can still turn to us in a crisis and we will help, but only Jesus has the power to actually be with them in spirit.
I taught them to turn to Christ; I can trust that Christ is always there when they remember. Their lives have always been in God’s hands, but watching them leave their homes is a tangible reminder of that fact.
Father, it’s so hard to let go To start our babies. When our children know Christ, it’s a little easier, but not that easy. Help us parents get out of the way so our children can learn to need you more. One day we may not even be there, but you always will.
And the truth
We do this for the first time with every child. I’m excited but nervous because I know how emotional I was about my older daughter’s graduation. Tears. Not a basket case, but rather nervous and worried.
While I’m calm today, there is a chance I’ll lose it tomorrow afternoon when the pandemic-changed graduate service is over.
A closing prayer
Heavenly Father these are strange times. Teach us to celebrate your fame and be grateful that our children are graduating; Pray for those whose children, for one reason or another, did not graduate, or for graduates whose parents are not here.
We are happy to be able to attend any kind of celebration, and we are also grateful that the great festival is still to come for all of us who have trusted in you, no matter what the future brings.
Thank you for patiently reminding us of your kindness and fame as we ponder such finite, temporal details as dresses, flowers, and photographs. When our children follow you, they are in perfect hands and have everything they need.
We can rest and let them go. They can look forward to the future you have for them. Thank you jesus Amen.
For further reading:
6 Faithful Prayers for Graduates in 2021
Life changing prayers for my son
10 mighty prayers for your grown up children
Should Christians look for revelation from God outside of the Bible?
What does “fear not, for I am with you” mean?
Photo credit: © iStock / Getty Images Plus / digitalskillet
Candice Lucey is a freelance writer based in British Columbia, Canada, where she lives with her family. Find out more about them here.